The Wu-Tang Manual

( 7 )

Overview

Long awaited and much anticipated, The Wu-Tang Manual is The RZA’s first written introduction to the philosophy and history of Hip-Hop’s original Dynasty, the Wu-Tang Clan.

Since the release of the revolutionary Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — over the course of four seminal group albums and a multitude of ambitious side projects — the Wu-Tang Clan has constantly redefined what hip-hop can do and where hip-hop can go. Now, after a decade of dark beats and mysterious lyrics ...

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Overview

Long awaited and much anticipated, The Wu-Tang Manual is The RZA’s first written introduction to the philosophy and history of Hip-Hop’s original Dynasty, the Wu-Tang Clan.

Since the release of the revolutionary Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — over the course of four seminal group albums and a multitude of ambitious side projects — the Wu-Tang Clan has constantly redefined what hip-hop can do and where hip-hop can go. Now, after a decade of dark beats and mysterious lyrics hinting at a larger whole, the RZA, the abbot of the legendary Staten Island hip-hop collective, fully reveals, for the first time, the complex, multilayered Wu-Tang Universe in The Wu-Tang Manual.

Written in a style that is at once personal and philosophical, The Wu-Tang Manual unravels the intricate web of personalities (and alter egos), warrior codes, numerological systems, and Eastern spiritual ethics that define the Wu-Tang dynasty. Packed with information that reflects the breadth and depth of the RZA’s — and rest of the Clan’s — intellectual interests and passions, The Wu-Tang Manual is divided into four books of nine chambers each, for a total of 36 chambers. All together, the book provides the breakdown of essential Wu-Tang components, from basic information about each of the nine core members of Wu-Tang Clan to deeper explorations of the key themes of the Wu-Tang universe, a dictionary-like Wu-Slang lexicon, and an entire section of Wu-Tang lyrics with densely annotated explanations of what they mean.

Elegantly laid-out and richly printed, the book is designed to reflect the Asian influence on the Wu-Tang universe, which, as the book explains, began with a fascination with kung-fu movies but quickly led to serious study of martial arts and Eastern philosophy and spirituality. The book also includes a map of Shaolin; a trove of never-before-seen photos of the Wu-Tang Clan, including shots of RZA’s trip to China with Sifu Shi Yan-Ming, live shots, and portraits-by Michael Lavine, Craig Wetherby, Sophia Chang, and Frank151; and original illustrations of many of the guiding lights of the Wu-Tang universe. For the hardcore Wu-Tang disciple and the recent initiate alike, The Wu-Tang Manual is the definitive guide to the essence of Wu, one of the most innovative hip-hop groups of all time.

The RZA's most recent book, The Tao of Wu, is also available from Riverhead Books.

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Editorial Reviews

Alan Light
There's something touching about the RZA's account of how kids from the projects learned life strategies and ethics from kung fu movies, and something weirdly inspirational about their ability to take those lessons and expand into brand extensions like a Wu-Tang comic book and a nail salon.
— The New York Times
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-In the late 1970s, Robert Diggs was growing up in a New York housing project. He spent his time with his many cousins and watching kung fu movies in Times Square. Later, he turned his interests in martial arts, spirituality, chess, comics, and rap music into one of the most successful rap groups of the 1990s-the Wu-Tang Clan. Named for a type of Shaolin martial arts, the Clan consists of Diggs-The RZA-two of his cousins, and six other members. The author shares all that went into making the group what it is, a curious mix of Eastern philosophy, supreme mathematics, capitalism, and, not least, talent. Nearly a quarter of the book is dedicated to lyrics, including a deep analysis of what each rapper meant. The Wu-Tang's lyrics are full of violence, drugs, and slang, but also well-executed metaphors, symbolism, and their philosophy realized. It's rare that rap lyrics are given this level of analysis, let alone in such a readable fashion. The book is full of photographs of the members and information about their work and interests, which include drugs, both legal and illegal. Even this topic is treated with intellectual detachment: "You can't say [drugs] are all bad or they're all good." (Sadly, since the book's publication, founding member ODB died from a drug-related incident.) Even though the Wu-Tang's greatest success came in the 1990s, they are still highly relevant and have many teen fans, all of whom will find something appealing in this account.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594480188
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 124,623
  • Product dimensions: 7.51 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

The RZA is most famous as the founder and leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, the platinum-selling hip-hop group that is widely considered one of the most important of all time, and has also spanned multiplatinum solo careers for many of its members, including RZA. Originally from Staten Island, he is currently based in Los Angeles, where he has continued his music career while successfully branching out into lecturing, television, and film.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A must have for any wu tang fan

    i got it for a friend for christmas who isnt that big of a reader but a diehard wu tang fan, he finished the book in one day and pulled some really deep and thought provoking ideas from the book. definetley gave me a whole new idea of what wu tang is and all about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    WU-TANG TO THE MAXIMUM! YEA!

    This book is wu-tang to the maximum! yea! i feel like a homie after reading this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2005

    Sacred

    A true book to a true Wu fan. The first page you read will get you sucked in to there world and you wont stop reading until the last page....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2005

    HOLY BOOK

    SPEAKING FOR MY SELF, THIS IS LIKE THE BIBLE FOR A TRUE WU FAN. THIS IS WHAT EVERY DEDICATED FAN OF THE WU LEGACY HAS BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE 93. IT GIVES YOU A GLIMPSE OF WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN THE CLAN THROUGH THE THIRD EYE OF THE RZA. WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING THE GODS LEFT TO THE WORLD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    Best Manual Ever

    If you have even a glimpse of love for the undisputed best rap group of all time then this will give you a universal look into the souls of the nine brothers of Wu-Tang. Through the depictions of the RZA, we are taught the lessons and occurrences that shaped and sculptured the most influential rap group in hip-hop history. The RZA firsts give you the basic to intermediate attributes of all nine members then through the most memorable stories of the Wu-Tang brothers. Some of the clans most famous lyrics are broken down to almost an atomically compound so even the more distant Wu-Tang followers can understand that one unique line. Bottom line, for those who love Wu-Tang to those who want a little bit more insight into the stories of those who shaped hip-hop,'You got to check out the W.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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